Page last updated at 12:44 GMT, Wednesday, 1 April 2009 13:44 UK

Former Pc jailed over boy abuse

Mark Brigham
Brigham admitted the four counts at an earlier hearing

A former police officer has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after admitting four counts of sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy.

Mark Brigham was serving with the Metropolitan Police when the incident took place in Portsmouth, in 2008.

The victim's family asked Brigham, a lesbian and gay liaison officer, for advice after their son came out as homosexual, the court heard.

The 38-year-old, from Hackney, east London, had resigned from the force.

He had been suspended pending the case.

Portsmouth Crown Court was told that Brigham, a police constable for nine years, had attended a party last August where he befriended the boy.

The off-duty officer had been asked to talk with the boy to offer advice.

You had received some warning of his age but you succumbed to temptation and committed these offences
Judge Roger Hetherington

But, the court heard, they performed consensual sex acts on each other.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said that Brigham had described his victim as "stunning" to other people at the party during the evening but had been informed that the boy was only 15-years-old.

He added that after the party, Brigham kept in contact with the boy through text messages and through the Facebook internet site.

The boy later told his family what had happened.

The hearing was told that Brigham had been going through a number of personal issues at the time including the break up of a relationship and had large debts.

Sentencing Brigham, Judge Roger Hetherington, said: "The offences are aggravated by the disparity of age between the two of you - you were more than twice his age.

"You were someone he could expect to look up to and expect some guidance from."

Brigham was jailed, ordered to sign on the sex offenders register for an indefinite period and banned from working with children.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Con Dave Anderson, of Hampshire police, said: "It's a sad end to an officer's career but also it will give some finalisation for the victim."

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